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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Orange Cranberry Muffins

orange cranberry muffins
Coolin’ on the rack.

I first had an orange cranberry muffin at Cedele, an awesome bakery chain in Singapore. Light, zesty and fragrant, with bursts of berry tastiness, it blew my mind as I ate it at my desk (accompanied with Gryphon’s lemon tea, it was a truly transcendental food experience and a better perk-me-up than a double espresso).

Off I went, hunting for an approximate recipe, and in the end I settled for Nigella’s, substituting the almonds for the cranberries and caster for brown sugar (I like the earthier taste). I also used store-bought orange juice from a packet instead of freshly squeezed OJ, to save time. They turned out light, fluffy – divine. This is a great breakfast treat which you can make ahead of a busy week, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container and they last for up to a week.

closeup
Berry love.

You know where to click…

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Dorset apple cake, from the Engine Room in Poundbury, Dorset.

Last month’s trip back to the UK was lovely, not least because of all the wonderful food we had. I know “good English food” is an oxymoron in most people’s minds, who tend to think it as stodgy fish and chips, 1970’s prawn cocktails and boiled cauliflower  (I know I did before I went to uni). But there’s lots of good eating to be done there, honestly.

I know of someone who hates food blogs which only talk about food made by other people, instead of food made by the blogger him/herself. Sorry F, but this is really just an exception! Normal recipe service will resume shortly.

More delicious highlights after the jump!

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beef parcels vertical

beef parcels

We had a cookout at our monthly book club meeting yesterday. I paired up with Pauline and our secret ingredients (assigned by P, who was also the host) were “beef” and “dumpling”. Dumpling? She clarified later that she meant wonton skins. So we decided to make small parcels and put mini meatballs and chunks of roasted sweet potato in them, topped with wasabi mayonnaise, torn Thai basil, and shichimi togarashi (Japanese red pepper seasoning).

And they turned out pretty good 🙂 I would recommend them as a nice hor d’oeuvre dish for a party. Five or six of them would be enough as a light meal too.

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red velvet cupcakes

red velvet close up red velvet others
L to R: Closeup of cupcake; and my rejected decoration designs, one of which is Nippletastic!

I first encountered red velvet cupcakes at Johanna’s 30th birthday party in New York two years ago. Instead of a birthday cake, she opted for red velvet cupcakes from a famous bakery (I forget which one, but it wasn’t Magnolia). One bite and I was hooked!

red velvet cross-section
Mmm, orgastastic!

As its name suggests, the red velvet cupcake has a lovely deep red colour which you can see better in this cross-section picture. It was a bit scary making the batter, which reminded me of Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Marsyas (which in turn was inspired by flayed skin. Eee.).

That aside, the cupcakes turned out well, with a rich velvety, unbelievably soft texture that’s not oily at all. One thing I like about them is that they’re not too sweet, which is made up for by the frosting.

Recipe after the jump!
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cupcakes closeup

I just love cupcakes – their size, their cuteness, their pretty-ness, their lethal ability to send you into a sugar-induced swoon. And since I got my new oven, I’ve been going on cupcake baking sprees!

I made these about two weeks ago. The chocolate ones with white frosting were made according to a Magnolia Bakery (NY) recipe, while the carrot-walnut ones with pink frosting taste just like the Cedele carrot-walnut cake.

The chocolate ones were heavenly, but the carrot ones were just a wee bit dense. Next time I make them, I’ll add a bit more baking soda and egg.

Anyhoo, here are the recipes. Enjoy!
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